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You don’t have to be constantly on the road in order to earn points and miles for your favorite loyalty program. There are plenty of ways to earn through actions you complete every single day. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure you’re reaping points and miles when you dine out. Here’s how you can go about it.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Join A Dining Program

Lots of loyalty programs have separate dining programs for their members. You may not even be aware of them. In many cases, these dining programs aren’t heavily marketed to members which means you might not even know they’re available to you.

Even though they sometimes require a separate signup than when you signed up for your overall loyalty program membership, they’re relatively easy to use. Plus, they’re usually free to join. 

Hilton Honors Dining

Some of the most popular dining programs are those that are connected to the major U.S. airlines and hotel chains. Hilton’s dining program is called Hilton Honors Dining. New signees receive a special 1,000 bonus points for their first restaurant visit.

The rest of the time, they earn eight bonus points per $1 when dining 11 or more times in a year and subscribe to email notifications from the program. They can also earn five bonus points per $1 when they dine 10 or fewer times in a year and opt-in for email notifications. Alternatively, they’ll earn two points per $1 when doing any of the above but don’t opt in for those notifications.

Considering how easy it is to dine out more than 11 times in a year, the eight points per $1 is attainable.

MileagePlus Dining

United’s dining program, MileagePlus Dining, is similar. You earn up to 2,500 bonus award miles just for signing up and dining within 30 days. Then, you earn 1 mile per $2 spent if you’re a basic member; 3 miles per $1 spent if you’re a Select member; and 5 miles per $1 spent if you’re a VIP member.

Select members are those that have elected to receive email notifications. VIP members are those that receive email notifications and have dined out more than 11 times in a year. 

Other dining programs include those offered by Alaska, Delta, Southwest, and American. Don’t see your favorite loyalty program on the list? Make sure you dig a little deeper into your loyalty program to see if a separate dining program exists. 

Signup For A Dining Friendly Credit Card

There are plenty of credit cards out there that offer miles and points earning potential when it comes to dining. But knowing which ones to consider can be tricky. You don’t want to sign up for a card that promises plenty of earnings for dining out, just to find out that you can’t transfer the points earned or cash back to your favorite airline or hotel loyalty program. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card is a good choice to consider for dining out. Chase Sapphire Reserve purchases earn up to 10x Ultimate Rewards. Cardholders can earn unlimited: 

  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 10x total points on Chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x total points on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 3x points on other travel worldwide (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 3x points on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out
  • 1x points for all remaining purchases

 You will not receive rewards points on your first $300 in annual travel purchases as the annual travel statement credit reimburses these purchases.

Then you can redeem your points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, if you’re turned off by this card’s large annual fee of $550, its sister card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 3x points per $1 spent on dining for only $95 per year.

American Express Gold Card

Similarly, the American Express® Gold Card earns:

  • Unlimited 4x Membership Rewards points on dining (including delivery and takeout)
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually, then 1x)
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1x point for all other purchases
  • Terms apply

You can redeem your points for travel via the American Express travel booking portal. 

The annual fee is $250 and there are no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

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